blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints

Solutions In Dreams

Even animals dream. The family dog is asleep, yet its feet are flinching and it may be making small yelps or whimpers. Is it chasing something, or being chased? Only the dog knows what the dream is about and whether the experience is pleasant or not. When it wakes, is there any memory of this imaginary event, and might the recall dictate subsequent conscious actions? Does it really matter? It really must, otherwise there would be neither dreams, nor dreamers.

There is no denying that everyone needs sleep, preferably uninterrupted and relaxing. A good night’s rest recharges the body and, perhaps more importantly, refreshes the mind. During this period of relative physical inactivity, the thought process continues, but in a more meditative fashion. Without the need to effect movement and action decisions, the brain can contemplate possibilities, sort out the jumble of information gathered during the day and prepare for the one to come.

And so to bed. That’s the easy part. Getting to sleep, however, may require more than simply closing the eyes and counting the obligatory sheep. Worry and concern tend to hang around, despite there being little that can be done about them at that time. They generate the kind of thoughts that keep the mind buzzing, sometimes causing uncomfortable physical reactions – those “feelings” again. With luck, the mind will eventually tire of constantly skipping from one problem to another and will switch to simmer-mode, permitting the advent of sleep.

Once the initial tossing and turning is over, the body seems to accept this well-earned state of total rest. There is little if any movement to begin with and the sleeper appears to have gone “out like a light”. Later, sometimes within minutes, this depth of sleep changes to a lighter, semi-conscious level called the REM (rapid eye movement) state. Eyelids flicker as if the subject is on the verge of waking, or is trying to. There is also an overlap of internal and external stimuli. The mind is contemplating all of those issues in the memory bank that still need attention but, at the same time is receptive to ambient sensations. Sounds can be heard, taste and smell continue to be effective and the sense of touch is unimpaired. Even bright light can be experienced through closed eyelids.

Here is where dreams are born. Many are assumed to be imaginary fantasies which, if recalled later, seem totally unrelated to anything current. However, they are all, in fact, directly connected to present thoughts often influenced by immediate surroundings. The dream-theme may even be triggered by an actual occurrence close at hand and picked up by one or more of the senses. For example, a violent storm raging outside the bedroom window could start the dream off in an Arctic wasteland, or on the deck of a ship being tossed by a hurricane. A more bizarre interpretation could find the dreamer clutching to the wing of a jet plane in mid-flight. It is very likely that the subject has had no personal experience in any of these situations yet, for some reason, disbelief in the virtual reality of the happening is suspended. This is because memory, as the gallery for pictorial images, recalls everything seen, whether witnessed first-hand, or in the form of a rendition as with scenes in a movie. It is not surprising then, considering how realistic they appear, that the locations and drama of a recently-watched video can be borrowed for personal use in a dream.

To dismiss dreams and nightmares as an emotional reaction to something unknown, or merely the lingering after-image of a spooky movie, is to ignore their value as guides to setting things straight in real life. Always assuming all or part of a dream can be remembered, analysing the components can unravel the reason for having it in the first place. Being able to accept this clever montage as a fictitious invention of the imagination not only sets it apart from reality, thus reducing its power as an agent of fear and confusion, but also clears the way to study it as an abstracted analogy of something real and perhaps important that is concerning the dreamer.

See next page

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

   top of page

Money    Health     Focus     Popcorn     Recipes     eBooks     About     Contact

copyright © 2011-2015  All Rights Reserved